For the second consecutive week we had a full programme of games in the Betfred Championship as we entered round eleven with two teams still unbeaten at the top of the pile in Toulouse and Featherstone, while the league was propped up by a winless Swinton Lions.
Featherstone Rovers hosted Newcastle Thunder on Saturday night with the remainder of games taking place on Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s games saw Halifax at Batley, Widnes at Bradford and Dewsbury at Oldham. London Broncos hosted Swinton, Whitehaven played York and Toulouse had a journey to take on Sheffield.
It was a one-sided affair at Featherstone where they demolished Newcastle Thunder to maintain their one hundred percent record. Gale scored four first half tries and with Jones, Whiteley, Hardcastle and Hall chiming in with tries of their own it was 42-0 at the interval. Gill got the first try of the second half for Newcastle before Gale got a fifth, Parata a first and Hardcastle a second. Beswick got Thunder into double figures but Gale grabbed a sixth try with just minutes of the full-time hooter Holmes added another and Gale got his sixth for a final score of 68-12.
Swinton shocked the London Broncos by taking the lead on six through Lloyd before Boafo got two for the home side and Miski added a third Broncos try to give them an 18-6 lead. Rather than throw in the towel the Lions doubled down and with tries from Green and Butt they drew level and took an 18-18 score line into the sheds. Swinton started the second half brighter too with Roberts regaining the lead for them but a second Miski try on fifty-eight and tries by Lovell and Sammutt in the last ten minutes gave the Bulls a 38-24 win.
Two tries in the opening quarter of an hour, from Gabriel and Dixon gave the Dewsbury Rams a 12-0 interval lead. Oldham did grab one back at the start of the second half through Dupree but a try from Oakes on the hour mark gave the Rams an 18-4 win.
Hooley gave the Batley Bulldogs an early lead against Halifax with a penalty goal, but the first try came from Harris for the Panthers for 6-2. Lillycrop got Batleys first four pointer and Hooley added the conversion and a penalty goal on the interval hooter for a 10-6 lead. A Hooley penalty goal edged Batley six points ahead but a late rally with a Woodburn-Hall try on sixty-four and two from Harris, to complete his hat-trick, saw the Panthers run out as 22-12 winners.
It was all Toulouse in the first half against the Sheffield Eagles as they scored five tries without response for a 24-0 half time lead. Vaivai went over as early as the third minutes to signal the intent and was followed by Kheirallah, Bergal, Jassaume and Pelissier, Kheirallah adding three conversions. Sheffield’s pain didn’t ease in the second half with Jassaume, Hansen, Armitage, Marion and Bergal all scoring tries for a 54-0 lead before a last minute try from Davies ensured that the home side didn’t get nilled as they crashed to a 54-6 scoreline.
It was another one-sided first half at the Recreation Ground in Whitehaven with the home side shocking the York City Knights with four unanswered tries for a 24-0 half-time lead. Newton was first over on eighteen with Holliday, Dixon and Walmsley joining in the first half party. Tork finally broke their duck four minutes after the restart through Baldwinson. The second half didn’t get any better for York as Bulman and Holliday added two more to Whitehaven’s tally, a late consolation for Dixon reducing the arrears but ‘Haven the winners by 37-12 after a late Williams drop goal.
Bradford and Widnes met at Odsal and it was the visitors who got off to a great start with tries from Else and Cross putting them 12-0 ahead. Walker got one back for Bradford on the half hour before a Hatton try for Widnes. A Smith drop goal on the half-time hooter put the Vikings 19-6 ahead at the interval. Scurr got the first try of the second half to give the Bulls some hope at 19-12 but when Lawton went in again for the Vikings to complete the scoring it was 25-12 to the visitors.